The group tasked with contingency planning for the State exams is to begin exploring "further possible options for the examinations".
The third meeting of the State Exams Advisory Group took place today. It was attended by Norma Foley, the Minister for Education, along with student, teacher, and parent representatives.
The group also includes representatives from the State Examinations Commission (SEC), the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), the Department of Further and Higher Education, and the Department of Education, including the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS).
At the meeting, the group received a presentation from the Irish Secondary Students Union (ISSU), on their recently published report about students' preferences for the exams, and return to in-class learning.
From more than 20,000 responses, this survey found that 81% of Leaving Cert students who took part favoured students having the option of sitting a written exam, or calculated grades.
A further 73% of respondents said they felt either very unsafe or unsafe with regard to the prospect of schools reopening. A further 75% of those who took part also described their trust in the Department is either 'very poor' or 'poor'.
A spokesman for the Department of Education said that the group agreed that there would be further "intensive" engagements to explore further possible options for the examinations.
"The group agreed that the report represented an important input to the deliberations underway."
The group also received an update from the SEC and continued discussion regarding the possible arrangements for various components of the 2021 examinations in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, he added.